In many new products I bought during the PA sale the metadata seems to be either incomplete or totally missing.
Now there can be several reason why this is the case:
1)There is a problem with version 4.5 and the way metadata is being processed.
Could be. I do not have the way to tell.
2) I am not installing all the files I am supposed to.
I am under the impression that now it is enough to install only the .trx files when there is a Genesis and a V4 version.
Could it be that in some cases the metadata for both the Genesis and the V4 version is included in the .dpc file?
If so this would be really annyoing. It should be enough to just have to install the Genesis version. Even if the file sizes are small one should not be forced to install unwanted Generation 4 content.
3) The metadata team is once again (like in most sales - I remember the christmas sale) under too much pressure to complete the metadata and unfinished products are being released.
If it is so it is just not acceptable. It is not ok to release products and then every few weeks there is a version update 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5.
Installing and updating takes time. It takes so much time that I really loose all creative inspirations because all I seem to be doing all day is keeping my software and content up to date. And after all that I am just feeling to exhausted to actually being creative.
What I need is content that is ready, tested and fully working after the first installation.
From my point of view what I gathered once again the problem is that the team at DAZ is too small. Those people who are doing quality assurance of the products are the same people that are doing the metadata.
There really needs to be a quality assurance step BEHIND the metadata team. Before products are released to the public they need to be tested completly.
This means someone has to download the same versions that are ready to be released to the customers from the server and then check if EVERYTHING is working including the metadata.
And checking the metadata does not mean that you just have to check if some metadata is being processed after installation.
I saw it quite often that metadata for a product is processed but no information is to be found in the Content DB Editor. All values are missing.
The most common errors I saw:
There is no information at all set up.
All entries are there but the file type is not set.
All entries are there but the compatibility base is not set.
All entries are there but it was forgotten to link the compatibility base to the scene ID.
To me it seems it another part of the problem seems to be that just internal versions are handed around in quality assurance and then they are zipped and put in installers and errors are happening during that phase that are not figured out until later when the customers show up complaining and filing bug reports.
Therefore it is from important that the quality assurance team tests the product versions that are ready to be released and uploaded on the same server the customers use. The quality assurance team then downloads and installs all different versions of the products and does the following things:
- Enter the product name in smart content product view.
Is it showing up?
Does the location make sense where it is showing up?
Is it really a pose, a surface or a light?
- Load the items in the scene and select it and check with the surface tool if the material settings are showing up in the “Surfaces Tab”.
Are all material options showing up?
- Open up the Content DB Editor view.
- Are the file types set?
- Are the compatibility bases set?
- Are the files categorized properly in a way that makes the items show up in a practical way in the “surfaces”, “posing”, “lights” Tab?
- Select the file in the scene /Scene Tab /Options /Scene Identification and check if the Scene Id is linked to the compatibility base.
This last step is easily overlooked because it seems to be somewhat redundant but those connections need to be made manually.
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So what is the case?
Am I just being annyoing and complaing for no reason? Or is there some truth behind my speculations what is going wrong?
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Here are some products that from my knowledge are missing metadata.
Is not to be found in Scenes nor Sets but only in Environments.
HDR Pro Sets Urban Recreation for DAZ Studio
Cannot be found in the Lights Tab but only in Environments.
Nigel for M5
Cannot be found under presets characters but is no in a completly new category materials/masculine where no other characters had been placed before (well at least none of the M5 ones I own.
Summer Character and Hair
The hair materials have not been assigned a compatibility base and are not categorized (for example like the pearls as “hair”)
As Nigel Summer materials are placed in a completly new folder in another place than the previous female V5, etc character textures.
What can you do?
If you have purchased those products please check if any metadata is showing up in your smart content?
Can you find any “products” for that content in your smart content “product” view either when Genesis is selected or when nothing is selected in the scene?
Perhaps it is just a problem on my end. But I have strong reason to believe it is not.
I will probably update this list tonight when I have more time to check every single product I purchased lately.
I really hoped I would not have to do that after each buy and installation session.
But it seems we are back to square one again.
Checking products and filing bug reports after every purchase.
This was the reason why I stopped buying products right after they are released. Because I just knew I am better off purchasing a few weeks later when the first metadata corrections will be ready for download. Buying and installing products on the first day proved to be a waste of time quite often because mostly after a few days version 1.1 will be there.
I cannot stress this enough:
The reason why I use DAZ Studio and hopefully one day Carrara is the metadata. In my order history are now 1155 products. All products without complete metadata are just products that are lost somewhere in the runtime. I do not have time to search through the maze of material options that are in a complete different folder structure than the geometry.
When I go to presets/characters I want to be able to see all characters I purchased.
When I go to scenes I want to be able to see all environments I purchased.
If I install products and the metadata is now allready properly and fully funtionally the time I spent installing the prodcut is wasted. Time costs money. Every minute I spend on installing stuff is time I cannot spend being creative.
I complain because I see the huge potential that DAZ products have in a professional creative environment of small studios. But the potential can only be fullfilled if the basics are working.
And the basics of every business environment should be:
Only release fully working and tested products!
Metadata is not a feature. Metadata is PART of the product.